Myrtle Beach has plan for new ‘rail trail’ near Arts and Innovation District

City of Myrtle Beach working to bring new rail trail to area

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Cyclists and joggers may soon have a new trail to add to their list.

The city of Myrtle Beach is working on a plan for a “rail-trail.”

“I think the city has made great strides in the last ten years as far as bike infrastructure," said Beach Bike Shop General Manager Mike Miller. "I think it’s just the latest step.”

Miller is keeping a close eye on one of Myrtle Beach’s latest project ideas.

The plan is to use a two and a half-mile stretch of abandoned railroad tracks for a rail-to-trail project.

“The Swamp Rabbit Trail that runs from Greenville to Traveler’s Rest South Carolina, which is an incredible success story, and that’s really what we’re trying to model this after," said Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune.

The trail would start at the Myrtle Beach Train Depot at 9th Avenue North and run north to the Intracoastal Waterway.

The city of Myrtle Beach has to get the county to agree to the project because the county owns the rail lines.

It’s projected to cost between $1.3 and $1.9 million, but selling the steel in the railroad itself could help pay for part of that.

“Ideally, we would like to pick up the steel, and the trail would go right on top of the railbed, but all of those details need to be worked out," said Bethune.

While Myrtle Beach and Horry County work out those details, Miller has already come up with a list of bikes he’d recommend taking on the trail.

“A good hybrid bike is going to do well on something like that, a hard tailed mountain bike, which is the norm on something like that is going to be a good thing to use," said Miller.

Both Horry County Council and the city of Myrtle Beach have to agree to take on the project and on what steps come next.

Until then, there isn’t a definite timeline for the rail trail.

Copyright 2020 WMBF. All rights reserved.